Start-up premium brand Mochi Bros turned to ePac UK Silverstone for support in finding the perfect packaging to match the high quality of its new mochi gelato sandwiches. The partnership resulted in soft-touch luxury pouches with built-in technology that helps engage directly with customers.
Mochi is a traditional Japanese soft and chewy rice dough that has become popular the world over, often in combination with an ice cream filling. After Bristol-based Osama Rashed first tasted one of these delicious treats, he realised that there was a market opportunity in the UK for a premium mochi gelato sandwich.
With a degree in finance and accounting, Osama had originally set out to climb the career ladder as an analyst in the oil & gas industry, but his dream was to build his own business and work on projects that he could be truly passionate about. And so, he decided to seize the opportunity and make a career change.
“Having worked in oil & gas for some years, I had begun to recognise that this was not the path I wanted to follow in the long run. What inspired me was the idea of being my own boss, so I had started to explore a few options before stumbling on mochi ice cream during a trip to the supermarket with a friend,” explained Osama.
This chance encounter with the mochi concept was the catalyst for change for the budding entrepreneur, and the idea for Mochi Bros was soon born.
Creating gelato in the Italian way
Setting out to create a premium mochi gelato brand without any knowledge of manufacturing was, however, a big challenge. He planned to find a UK manufacturer to produce the vegan gelato treat ground to a halt after some initial research. Instead, he decided to travel to Bologna in Italy, the home of some of the world’s best gelato, to learn the art of the ‘gelatière’ and develop recipes with a difference: delicious clean gelato made from only a few ingredients with exciting and innovative flavours that reflected Osama’s Middle Eastern heritage.
The result was a dairy-free – or as Mochi Bros describes it ‘udderlessly’ – creamy gelato made from cashew nuts, which in addition to being vegan is also free from preservatives, artificial colours, flavours, sweeteners, and palm oil. With just eight or fewer ingredients, the mochi gelato sandwiches are available in five unique and delicious flavours: Baklawa premium pistachio, Roseberry sweet strawberry with rose, Lemonana Sicilian lemon with mint, Shai Nana Moroccan mint tea, and Kahwa Colombian coffee.
In just nine months, Mochi Bros was officially launched. Partnering with ePac UK Silverstone on the packaging helped to deliver a professional finished product for his five unique SKUs, in the exact quantities he needed, and in less than two weeks… Initially, the mochi gelato sandwiches were being sold locally in Osama’s hometown of Bristol at events, pop-ups, and via a website, but there are big plans to go national and beyond.
Sourcing premium packaging: ePac saves the day
Getting the branding right and finding a packaging supplier for your products is often a big hurdle for small start-ups. Many simply opt for cheap one- or two-colour printed labels stuck to pre-made pouches. But Osama was more ambitious; he wanted to present Mochi Bros’ premium products in premium packaging that conveyed the right message right from the start.
The initial experience of sourcing premium packaging was not very positive. Osama soon found that he could not meet the minimum order quantities (MOQs) that most traditional packaging suppliers demanded. Furthermore, he was planning to launch five SKUs meaning he would be ordering even shorter runs of each design.
While conventional manufacturing methods do not allow the agility that small to medium brands need for their packaging, digital technology has created a whole new world of opportunities with the ability to have very low MOQ produced. Even better, without being restricted by the limitations (and costs) of printing plates, digital gives you full design freedom, so changes can be made at any time in the process.
Fortunately, Osama discovered digital flexible packaging specialist ePac UK and contacted the team at Silverstone for help. Not only could they print his small orders and multiple SKUs, but he was also amazed to find that ePac would be able to ship the pouches in less than 15 business days once the design had been finalised. As well as being printed digitally to order, the pouches are locally made avoiding lengthy import delays or other supply chain issues.
“ePac really saved the day for me and I can’t thank them enough. They were super helpful right from the first call and sent me loads of samples of pouches to narrow down exactly what I wanted in terms of materials and surface treatment,” said Osama. “Once I saw their soft-touch matt look finish and the fantastic print quality, I was sold.”
Creating that special connection with ePacConnect
The superb lay-flat pouches with convenient tear notches from ePac give the Mochi Bros brand a luxury appearance and the chance to compete with the largest companies in the ice cream segment.
“I’m really chuffed with the outcome of this project. The product is amazing, the design is fantastic and so is the quality of the pouches!” exclaimed Osama. “ePac has helped portray our new brand as a well-established one!”.
A lot of the buzz around Mochi Bros has been created through social media, so when ePac explained that the packaging could be elevated with serialised QR codes to create unique customer interaction with the brand, Osama was quick to agree.
ePacConnect is a simple way to build a bridge between Mochi Bros’ physical products and the digital platforms Osama uses to market the brand. A catchy call to action can be found on the reverse of each pouch, saying “You a fan? Give us a scan!” with each QR code linked to a campaign. This feature helps to promote the products and engage directly with consumers to establish brand loyalty while collecting valuable marketing analytics for the fabulous Mochi Bros premium gelato sandwiches.
Do you have a burning ambition to launch your brand in premium packaging? Get in touch here with the ePac team to find out what we can do to make your products stand out.